Dajiang Qin, Yi Gan, Kaifeng Shao, Hao Wang, Wen Li, Tao Wang, Wenzhi He, Jianyong Xu, Yu Zhang, Zhaohui Kou, Lingwen Zeng, Guoqing Sheng, Miguel A. Esteban, Shaorong Gao and Duanqing Pei
The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2008, 283(48), 33730-33735. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M806788200
Induced pluripotent stem cell technology, also termed iPS, is an emerging approach to reprogram cells into an embryonic stem cell-like state by viral transduction with defined combinations of factors. iPS cells share most characteristics of embryonic stem cells, counting pluripotency and self-renewal, and have so far been obtained from mouse and humans, including patients with genetic diseases. Remarkably, autologous transplantation of cell lineages derived from iPS cells will eliminate the possibility of immunological rejection, as well as current ethical issues surrounding human embryonic stem cell research. However, before iPS can be used for clinical purposes, technical problems must be overcome. Among other considerations, full and homogeneous iPS reprogramming is an important prerequisite. However, despite the fact that cells from several mouse tissues can be successfully induced to iPS, the overall efficiency of chimera formation of these clones remains low even if selection for Oct4 or Nanog expression is applied. In this report, we demonstrate that cells from the mouse meningeal membranes express elevated levels of the embryonic master regulator Sox2 and are highly amenable to iPS. Meningeal iPS clones, generated without selection, are fully and homogeneously reprogrammed based on DNA methylation analysis and 100% chimera competent. Our results define a population of somatic cells that are ready to undergo iPS, thus highlighting a very attractive cell type for iPS research and application.